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Consumer Web Panel:  Bridging the online/offline disconnect

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Matt Witheiler - Moderator

Principal, Flybridge Capital Partners

Matt is a Principal at Flybridge Capital Partners whose investment interests and experience broadly cover companies and technologies across the information technology sector including financial technology, digital media, semiconductors.

Matt currently represents Flybridge Capital Partners on the board of Convoke Systems and serves as an observer on the boards of DataXu, Sand 9 and a portfolio company working in stealth.  Matt was previously a director at Ready Financial (merged with AccountNow).  He also sits on the board of The Capital Network and is a Founding Executive Committee Member of FirstGrowth Venture Network, a network of venture and angel investors supporting first and second time entrepreneurs building exciting companies in the New York area.
 
Matt joined the firm as a Senior Associate in July 2008 after completing his MBA at Harvard School of Business (HBS).  Prior to HBS, Matt spent seven years in various roles in the high technology industry.  Most recently, Matthew was a Summer Associate at Jefferies Broadview in technology investment banking where he advised on sale, IPO and debt strategies of various companies in the technology industry. Prior to that, Matthew spent three years at ATI Technologies, a $4B 3D-graphics silicon provider.  At ATI, Matt focused on the integration of 3D graphics and digital video and was responsible for the TV on the PC integrated circuit product line.  He researched, led development and launched the company’s flagship multimedia processor. Before joining ATI,  Matt served for four years as co-owner and Senior Hardware Editor of the successful hardware review website, AnandTech.com, where he helped build one of the world’s largest hardware review sites.

Matthew holds a BA in Public Policy Studies from Duke University and an MBA from the Harvard Business School. Outside of the office, Matthew is an avid mountain biker, skier and SCUBA diver. At HBS, Matthew sat as the Section F Treasurer and Co-Chair of Cyberposium 2007.

Alex Leichtman - Panelist

Groupon

Alex joined Groupon in December 2010 working on special projects in the Merchant Services department while completing her MBA at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. After graduation, Alex took over the Account Management program, a 150-person team dedicated to building long-term relationship with the small businesses that run Groupon daily deals.  Account Managers prepare small businesses for their daily deal feature, support them during the deal redemption period, and cross-sell additional Groupon products and services. Alex is responsible for day-to-day management of the team as well as advising marketing, product development and finance on the impact of Groupon strategies on its small business partners. Prior to joining Groupon, Alex worked in strategy, market research and new product development. As an MBA intern at Bump Technologies, Alex focused on marketing and consumer research. Before business school, Alex was a Manager at Innosight, an innovation strategy and product development consultancy founded by HBS professor Clayton Christensen. Prior to joining Innosight, Alex set up a strategic planning function at Dunkin Brands, franchisor of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, and was an Associate Consultant at Bain and Company.  Alex is a 2002 graduate of Harvard College.

Peter Boyce II - Panelist

Community and Business Director, Skillshare

Peter is the Community and Business Director at Skillshare, a community for sharing skills offline. This summer, Peter joined as the fifth employee, working with CEO Michael Karnjanaprakorn on operations & financing activities, as well as working with the community team to grow Skillshare’s presence in New York and nationally.

Prior to Skillshare, Peter was Business Development analyst at Bad Boy Entertainment, as well as a summer analyst covering technology and retail at Scoggin Capital Management, an NYC based hedge fund.

 

Rob Eroh - Panelist

Head of Product and Engineering, eBay Local

Rob is the head of product and engineering for eBay Local, where he is responsible for leading the team in its mission to track the real-time availability of every product, on every shelf, of every store in the world. In his role, Rob spearheads forward-looking projects that continue to blur the line between online and offline commerce while also ensuring that the core of Milo—its data—is always improving.

Rob was previously the VP of Product Development at Milo.com, which was acquired by eBay in December 2010. At Milo, he was involved in strategic projects that included building an improved interface for content availability, implementing distance filters and creating a mobile site. In addition to his technical expertise with HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Python, Rob brings with him a background in finance that helped the team pitch to investors and make calculated decisions about the future.

Prior to joining Milo, Rob was a technology analyst at Goldman Sachs. His main project involved conceptualizing and architecting an analytics framework that allowed a development team to quickly build high-level forecasting and summary reports for review by top-level management.

Rob graduated from The Wharton School with a B.S. in Economics and an engineering minor in computer science. In his free time, Rob enjoys traveling, culinary adventures, being active, and anything imaginable that puts a creative mix on those three.

Vipin Goyal - Panelist

Co-Founder & CEO, SideTour

Vipin is responsible for setting the overall direction and strategy for the company.

Vipin was previously VP of Business Development at Joost, the online video company started by the founders of Skype. Prior to Joost, he was Director of Strategy & Business Development at MTV Networks International. He began his career as a Business Analyst at McKinsey & Company, in Chicago and Mumbai.

Vipin holds a BA in Economics from Harvard University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is an avid traveler and a Chicago sports fanatic.

In the fall of 2009, Vipin and his wife decided to leave their jobs and travel around the world. Their itinerary took them from Africa to the Middle East, India, China, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand. They blogged about their experiences along the way at twonomads.org. The idea for SideTour was born out of that trip.

 

David Frankel - Panelist

David is a venture capitalist with investments in over 30 US based companies. He is the co-founder of New York and Boston based foundercollective.com, voted “the most important start up fund in Boston in 2009”. Previously, David was the CEO of Internet Solutions, Chairman of HealthBridge & lead investor + Chairman of Cura Risk.  In 2008 through Altirah Telecoms, David and his partners led the $250m South African “New Dawn” satellite project with Intelsat as a 75% partner.

David is currently a non-executive director of Rand Merchant Bank. 

Companies in which Frankel has personally provided the first term sheet or majority seed capital include: Siteadvisor (sold to McAfee), Brontes (sold to 3M), Vista Research (sold to McGraw Hill), Getmein (sold to Ticketmaster), Context Optional (sold to Efficient Frontier), Magazine Radar, Link Medicine, Trialpay, Big Think, OLO.com and Clickatell. 

David is a founding board member of Endeavor South Africa (see endeavor.org). His non-profit activities include catalyzing roles and board participation in JET, Foundation 2000 and now The King David Foundation. 

In 1998, David was voted Computer Society of South Africa’s “Information Technology Person of the Year”. In 2000 he was voted the South African Technology Achiever of the Century. The World Economic Forum later selected him for the Global Leader of Tomorrow (GLT) program. David holds an honors degree in Electrical Engineering (Wits) and, post selection for the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Program, earned an MBA with distinction from Harvard.  

David lives with his wife Tracey and their 2 daughters in Boston. He also managed to run the 2009 NY Marathon.